By Mike Faloon
Part 1: The First Three Listens
The other day at Grand Central Station, I attempted to buy a train ticket, a 10-pass, to be more specific. Summer’s here and the time is right for more frequent trips into my favorite city. Though expensive, $119, I consider the purchase of such a ticket to be routine; upstaters like me buy them all the time.
The bank my wife and I use, People’s United, disagreed that this purchase was routine. Their algorithms sensed some manner of wrongdoing was afoot and unbeknownst to me they suspended our account when I tried to buy the 10-pass. The ticket machine’s screen read “Unable to complete transaction.” I attributed this to a mechanical problems with the machine. Allie found out about the suspended account the next day at the grocery store when her card was declined. She called the bank.
Allie: “You have no idea what a disruption this is.
Bank rep: “We’re trying to prevent fraud. Fraud is a much bigger disruption.”
In addition to running through the “how”s and “why”s of what happened, the bank rep said that we could prevent this problem from happening again by calling the bank when we plan to visit the city. Financial institutions will tell you all kinds of things. I believe few of them.
Spokenest, comprised of Adrian (drums/vocals) and Daryl (guitar/vocals), make a lot of claims, too. One of them is that they sound like Superchunk. I don’t believe this. Daryl’s guitar sound is harsher; I hear more Sonic Youth in the six strings. And the dirgy breakdown in “Sense,” that’s SY > SC as well. Not that Spokenest lean too much in the direction of Kim and Thurston. Spokenest often opt for breakneck tempos, like they can’t play fast enough, like the whole thing is going to careen over the cliff and maybe part of them wants it to.
Part 2: Subsequent Listens
You know, on fourth thought, there is some early Superchunk here—like when they play steady eighths. And the slower part at the end of “Lose” with the poppy “oohs” sprinkled in. A bit of No Pocky for Kitty? Sure. And Spokenest’s lyrics are far too earnest to cozy up to Sonic Youth’s detached sneers. So maybe Spokenest can be trusted on this whole “we’ve got a bit of Superchunk” thing.
But now I’ve implied that Spokenest are a couple of Superchunk diehards aping their favorite band. There are traces of that on Gone, Gone, Gone but they have got moves a plenty of their own. “Tell Me” punches and kicks and tries to shake it all off, while “Reasons” mixes these elements—snarling and stomping and oohing and aahing—to a whole different effect. This one makes the summer playlist.